Embassy Hill

Embassy Racing With Graham Hill, commonly abbreviated to Embassy Hill, was a short-lived Formula One team started by two-time Formula One World Champion Graham Hill. The team debuted in 1973 with a customer Shadow DN1 car, and began racing as a constructor with its own chassis in 1975. The team had limited success in three seasons of racing, but everything was cut short by the death of Hill, Tony Brise and some of the team's top personnel in the crash of a light aircraft in the autumn before the 1976 season. The team was sponsored by Imperial Tobacco's Embassy cigarette brand and ran under various names during its time.

History

1972–73

Embassy Racing With Graham Hill first came into being when Graham Hill decided to leave his previous team, Brabham, unhappy with the atmosphere there. He announced in late 1972[1] he was starting his own team, acting as owner and driver. Securing sponsorship from Embassy, Hill started operating a team with cars purchased from Shadow. Things did not go well that year: the team's best finish was ninth at Zolder, being the last finisher among 9 cars (the former World Champion also started 23rd of 23 cars that race).

1974

The chassis for 1974 were bought from Lola, and designated as the Lola T370. Graham Hill drove throughout the season and scored a point at the 1974 Swedish Grand Prix, but this was to be the team's only point that season. The second car was driven by Guy Edwards, and later Peter Gethin and Rolf Stommelen.

1975

The T370 was still being used at the beginning of the 1975 season, until the team's new car was ready. The new car for 1975 was initially designated as the Lola T371,[2] but when designer Andy Smallman left Lola to work full-time for Embassy Hill it was renamed the Hill GH1.[3] Smallman's design drew heavily from the design of previous year's Lola cars.[1]

Unfortunately, the second race of the GH1 at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix[4] was marred by the collapse of Rolf Stommelen's rear wing mounting, which pitched his car into the crowd and killed four people. Stommelen was injured in the accident and did not return until the second half of the season.

After failing to qualify at the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix, a race he had won five times, Hill no longer drove the cars himself, and his driving role was taken over by Tony Brise. Brise, considered a rising star,[5] finished sixth in the 1975 Swedish Grand Prix and qualified sixth for the 1975 Italian Grand Prix.

Alan Jones took over the second car for most of the races that Stommelen missed; Jones finished fifth place in the 1975 German Grand Prix.

François Migault and Vern Schuppan were also behind the wheel of the second Hill that year.

Hill GH2

The GH2 was the first Formula One car that Andy Smallman designed from scratch specifically for Graham Hill's team, and it was intended for use in the 1976 World Championship season.[6] It was intended to replace the previous model, the Hill GH1, which had started life as the Lola T371. The GH2 used the ubiquitous Cosworth DFV engine. Tony Brise began testing in the late summer of 1975 at Silverstone, and the times indicated the team could hope for a successful season.

After the deaths of Graham Hill, Tony Brise, Andy Smallman and Ray Brimble in November 1975, the GH2 project came to a halt. However, a GH2 was still built and is now in a British automobile museum.

End of the team

On the evening of 29 November 1975 Graham Hill was piloting an Embassy Hill Piper Aztec light aircraft from France to London. His passengers were team manager Ray Brimble, team driver Tony Brise, designer Andy Smallman and mechanics Terry Richards and Tony Alcock. They were returning from Circuit Paul Ricard where they had been testing the Hill GH2 car being prepared for 1976. They were due to land at Elstree Airfield before onward travel to London to attend a party. Shortly before 10pm the plane hit trees beside a golf course at Arkley in thick fog. In the ensuing crash and fire everyone on board was killed.[7][8] As the team now only consisted of the deputy team manager and two mechanics it was impossible to continue.[9][10]

Shadow DN1 (Hill) 2008 Goodwood

Hill's 1973 Shadow DN1 being demonstrated at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Haynes International Motor Museum - IMG 1496 - Flickr - Adam Woodford

The Lola T370 of the 1974 season displayed at Haynes International Motor Museum

011 9tes ATM Unter der Bavaria - Oldtimertreffen auf der Theresienwiese Hill GH2 Formel I

The Hill GH2

Graham Hill 1974 British GP

Hill driving the Lola T370 at the 1974 British Grand Prix

Complete Formula One results

(key)

Year Chassis Engines Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Points WCC
1973 Shadow
DN1
Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR NED GER AUT ITA CAN USA - -
United Kingdom Graham Hill Ret 9 Ret Ret 10 Ret NC 13 Ret 14 16 13
1974 Lola
T370
Ford V8 F ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA - -
United Kingdom Graham Hill Ret 11 12 Ret 8 7 6 Ret 13 13 9 12 8 14 8
United Kingdom Guy Edwards 11 Ret DNQ 12 8 7 Ret 15 DNS DNQ
United Kingdom Peter Gethin Ret
Germany Rolf Stommelen Ret Ret 11 12
1975 Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA ESP MON BEL SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA USA 3 11th
Lola T370 United Kingdom Graham Hill 10 12 DNQ DNQ
Germany Rolf Stommelen 13 14
Lola T371 7
GH1 Ret 16 Ret
Australia Vern Schuppan Ret
Australia Alan Jones 13 16 10 5
France François Migault NC Ret
United Kingdom Graham Hill DNQ
United Kingdom Tony Brise Ret 6 7 7 15 Ret 15 Ret Ret

Formula One Non-Championship results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine Driver 1 2 3
1973 Brabham BT37 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 ROC INT
United Kingdom Graham Hill Ret
1974 Lola T370 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 PRE ROC INT
United Kingdom Graham Hill NC Ret
United Kingdom Guy Edwards 9
1975 Lola T371 Ford Cosworth DFV V8 ROC INT SUI
Germany Rolf Stommelen 9
GH1 12
United Kingdom Graham Hill 11

See also

References

  1. ^ a b GrandPrix.com, GP Encyclopedia - Embassy Hill Racing
  2. ^ "Hill GH1 Cosworth". Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  3. ^ Ewald, Klaus (2006). "Hill Ford GH2". research-racing.de. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  4. ^ "THE CHAMPIONS / More than Mister Monaco: Graham Hill – all-rounder extraordinary". Autosport. Retrieved 21 June 2008.
  5. ^ Tremayne, David (August 2006). The Lost Generation. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 1-84425-205-1.
  6. ^ Tremayne, David (December 2000). "So little time". Motor Sport magazine. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  7. ^ BBC, This day in history-- 1975: Graham Hill killed in air crash.
  8. ^ Graham Hill, 46, Retired Racer, In Fatal Crash Piloting His Plane. UPI News Service. 1 December 1975 (Monday) New York Times archive
  9. ^ "Motor racing legend Graham Hill killed in a plane crash". The Guardian. London: Guardian Newspapers. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  10. ^ Bardon, P. "Report on the accident at Arkley Golf Course". AAIB Formal Reports. Air Accidents Investigations Branch. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
1975 British Grand Prix

The 1975 British Grand Prix (formally the John Player Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at Silverstone on 19 July 1975. It was race 10 of 14 in both the 1975 World Championship of Drivers and the 1975 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. It was the 30th British Grand Prix to be held since the race was first held in 1926 and the 17th time the race had been held at Silverstone. The race was held over 56 of the scheduled 67 laps of the four kilometre venue for a race distance of 264 kilometres.

The results were overshadowed by a heavy hail storm from Lap 53, which caused three out of the top four cars (Jody Scheckter, James Hunt, and Mark Donohue), to aquaplane and crash in the same corner, bringing an early finish to the race, and a significant absence on the podium. A number of other cars crashed at the same corner as well, including Wilson Fittipaldi, Jochen Mass, and John Watson. The race results were finalised the lap after the lap most cars crashed, giving Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, who had been the race leader prior to the storm, a one lap win in his McLaren M23. Carlos Pace, who was one of the crashers in his Brabham BT44B was classified in second position with another of the crashers, Tyrrell 007 driver Jody Scheckter classified third.

The win was the 14th and final win of Fittipaldi's career which had included two world championships. He would continue racing in Formula One until 1980. The win also vaulted Fittipaldi past Carlos Reutemann into second place in the championship, 14 points behind Lauda.

1975 Formula One season

The 1975 Formula One season was the 29th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1975 World Championship of F1 Drivers and the 1975 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers which were contested concurrently from 12 January to 5 October over fourteen races. The season also included three non-championship Formula One races and a nine race South African Formula One Championship.

After a strong finish to the 1974 season, many observers felt the Brabham team were favourites to win the 1975 title. The year started well, with an emotional first win for Carlos Pace at the Interlagos circuit in his native São Paulo. However, over the season tyre wear frequently slowed the cars, and the initial promise was not maintained.Niki Lauda often refers to 1975 as "the unbelievable year". In his second year with Ferrari, the team provided him with the Ferrari 312T – a car that was technically far superior to any of the competition. He won his first world title with five wins and a huge margin over second place in the championship.

American Mark Donohue died in August, two days after a practice run crash for the Austrian Grand Prix. After the season in late November, an Embassy Hill airplane crashed in England and all six aboard were killed, including team owner Graham Hill and driver Tony Brise.

Arkley

Arkley is an area of North London, England, within the London Borough of Barnet. It is located 10.6 miles (17.1 km) north northwest of Charing Cross.

It consists of a long village strung out between Barnet and Stirling Corner, roughly centred on the "Gate" pub, and composed of the ancient hamlets of Barnet Gate, Rowley Green and Arkley. At 482 feet (147 m) above sea level, Arkley is one of the highest points in London.

Elstree Airfield

London Elstree Aerodrome (ICAO: EGTR) is an operational general aviation aerodrome located in Elstree, and is situated 2.6 nautical miles (4.8 km; 3.0 mi) east of Watford, Hertfordshire, England.

Elstree Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P486) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Aldenham Aviation LLP).

Embassy (cigarette)

Embassy is a British brand of cigarettes, currently owned and manufactured by Imperial Tobacco.

Embassy Racing

For the Formula One race team founded by Graham Hill, see Embassy Hill.Embassy Racing was a British auto racing team founded by Jonathan France in 2003. Initially created as a conjunction with Xero Competition in the British GT Championship, the team expanded to become an independent team and began to win races in British GT before the team took a sabbatical year in 2006. Upon their return to motorsport, Embassy moved to the international Le Mans Series, running in a Le Mans Prototype class, as well as entering the British Superbike Championship's junior leagues, the Supersport and Superstock Championships, running with the support of Triumph Motorcycles under the MAP Embassy Triumph banner.

In 2008, Embassy became a race car constructor for the first time, when they developed and built a new Le Mans Prototype known as the WF01. Embassy Racing ran two WF01s in the Le Mans Series, two Triumph Daytona 675s in the British Supersport Championship, and another Daytona in Superstock.

At the end of the 2008 season Jonathan France declared that he planned to ‘mothball’ the team due to the economic climate. Then in March 2009 it was announced that the entire assets of the team were to be sold via an on-line auction.

Graham Hill

Norman Graham Hill (15 February 1929 – 29 November 1975) was a British racing driver and team owner from England, who was twice Formula One World Champion. He is the only driver ever to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport—the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. He also appeared on TV in the 1970s on a variety of non-sporting programmes including panel games. He liked painting in his spare time.

Hill and his son Damon were the first father and son pair to win Formula One World Championships. Hill's grandson Josh, Damon's son, also raced his way through the ranks until he retired from Formula Three in 2013 at the age of 22.

Hill and five other members of the Embassy Hill team died in 1975 when the aeroplane he was piloting from France crashed in fog at night on Arkley golf course while attempting to land at Elstree Airfield in north London.

Graham Hill plane crash

On 29 November 1975, former Formula One champion and team owner Graham Hill died when the Piper Aztec light aircraft he was piloting crashed near Arkley in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, while on approach to Elstree Airfield. The other five passengers on board, forming the core of his Embassy Hill Formula One team, were also killed.

The group was returning from a trip to southern France to test the new Hill GH2, one month after the end of the 1975 Formula One season. The accident occurred at night, and at the time foggy conditions prevailed in the area. An investigation into the crash was inconclusive, but pilot error was deemed the most likely explanation.

Hill GH1

The Hill GH1 was a Formula One car used by Embassy Hill during the 1975 Formula One season. It was designed by Andy Smallman. The car was initially designated as the Lola T371, but when Smallman left Lola to work full-time for Embassy Hill it was renamed as the Hill GH1. GH1 cars participated in 12 World Championship Grands Prix in 1975, with 21 entries in total using six different drivers. Two points finishes yielded 11th place in the World Constructors' Championship, with three points.

John Nicholson (racing driver)

John Nicholson (6 October 1941 – 19 September 2017) was a racing driver from Auckland, New Zealand. He participated in two Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 20 July 1974. He scored no championship points.

Nicholson was the 1973 and 1974 British Formula Atlantic champion, using a Lyncar chassis and in his 'day job' was an engine-builder for McLaren. Nicholson also worked for Cosworth, Lotus and Embassy Hill, and he prepared a Saab engine for use in a Reynard Formula Three car.Following his Formula Atlantic success, Nicholson commissioned Martin Slater of Lyncar to build him a Formula One car, despite, by this time, having established his own engine building business, which meant he was unable to commit to a full grand prix season. His race entries, therefore, were mainly in non-championship races. He entered the British Grand Prix in 1974 and 1975 and qualified for the latter race. He was classified 17th, five laps behind, despite crashing in the heavy storm towards the end of the race. Nicholson subsequently planned a further and stronger attempt at Formula One with a privateer McLaren M23 but the purchase of the chassis fell through. He did continue in both Formula Two and Formula 5000 in 1976 before racing in his native New Zealand in January 1977.After retiring from racing, Nicholson turned his sporting attention to powerboat racing as well as continuing with his business interests.He died in 2017 at the age of 75.

Lola Cars

Lola Cars International Ltd. was a racing car engineering company founded in 1958 by Eric Broadley and based in Huntingdon, England. Enduring more than fifty years, it was one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of racing cars in the world. Lola Cars started by building small front-engined sports cars, and branched out into Formula Junior cars before diversifying into a wider range of sporting vehicles. Lola was acquired by Martin Birrane in 1998 after the unsuccessful MasterCard Lola attempt at Formula One.

Lola Cars was a brand of the Lola Group, which combined former rowing boat manufacturer Lola Aylings and Lola Composites, that specialized in carbon fibre production. After a period in bankruptcy administration, Lola Cars International ceased trading on 5 October 2012. Many of Lola's assets were subsequently purchased by a partnership composed of Multimatic Engineering and the Carl A. Haas Automotive company.

Lola T370

The Lola T370 was a Formula One car designed by Andy Smallman and used by Embassy Hill in the 1974 season and the early part of the 1975 season. After an unsuccessful 1973 with a customer Shadow DN1, the Embassy Hill team commissioned its own cars from Lola. The T370 was largely based on Formula 5000 designs, and looked similar to Lola's F5000 cars, although it sported an extremely large airbox. Embassy Hill had two cars for Graham Hill and Guy Edwards. The car was tested well before the end of 1973 in readiness for the January start to the 1974 season.

Montjuïc circuit

The Montjuïc circuit is a former street circuit located on the Montjuïc mountain in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The circuit was also the venue for the Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix from 1950 to 1968, and then hosted the event on even-numbered years until 1976. The last Formula One Grand Prix held there in 1975, is notable for both a fatal crash that led to Formula One abandoning the venue and the only occasion to date that a female driver has scored World Championship points.

Nigel Roebuck

Nigel Roebuck (born 1946 in Manchester, Lancashire) is an English journalist. Since 1971 he has reported on Formula One, and is considered one of the sport's most influential writers. From 2007 to 2016 he was editor-in-chief of Motor Sport magazine.

Roebuck was educated at Giggleswick School in North Yorkshire, also the alma mater of Keith Duckworth, another well-known figure in Formula One. He wrote freelance articles for many publications as well as being Press Officer for the Embassy Hill F1 team in 1975. At the same time he was writing for Autosport magazine and became their Grand Prix correspondent in 1977.

Roebuck's weekly column, entitled ‘5th Column’ in deference to Emilio Mola Vidal, a Nationalist general in the Spanish Civil War, became a must-read for its insights into drivers, team managers and some of the self-important bureaucrats running F1 in the late 1970s and 1980s. While covering F1 (a category of racing that he loved more than any other) he became close to several drivers, notably Gilles Villeneuve, Chris Amon, Keke Rosberg, Mario Andretti, Eddie Cheever, Derek Warwick, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

He is also a passionate collector of Roadster-era US oval racing literature.

Among Roebuck's freelance outlets were Autosport, plus Autoweek in the USA and a retrospective column in Motor Sport.

At the end of 2007 he stopped writing his weekly articles for Autosport magazine and website, to concentrate on his new position as editor-in-chief of Motor Sport magazine.

In 1982 Roebuck drove a Formula One Renault turbo at Circuit Paul Ricard in France.

Roebuck was a commentator for the ESPN coverage of the 1988 Canadian Grand Prix.

In January 2017 Motor Sport magazine announced that Roebuck would no longer be writing for the magazine, returning to his 'spiritual home', Autosport magazine. His column was one of the most popular in Motor Sport magazine and ran for over nine years.

Piper PA-23

The Piper PA-23, named Apache and later Aztec, is a four-to-six-seat twin-engined light aircraft aimed at the general aviation market. The United States Navy and military forces in other countries also used it in small numbers. Originally designed in the 1950s by the Stinson Aircraft Company, Piper Aircraft manufactured the Apache and a more powerful version, the Aztec, in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Shadow DN1

The Shadow DN1 was a Formula One car used by the Shadow team during the 1973 Formula One season and the early stages of the following season. The car was the first Formula One car for Shadow, which had previously participated in the CanAm Sportscar Series. It was designed by former BRM engineer Tony Southgate. The DN1 was also driven by Graham Hill for his privateer team, Embassy Hill.

Shadow Racing Cars

Shadow Racing Cars was a Formula One and sports car racing team, founded and initially based in the United States although later Formula One operations were run from the British base in Northampton. The team held an American licence from 1973 to 1975 and a British licence from 1976 to 1980, thus becoming the first constructor to officially change its nationality. Their only F1 victory, at the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix, was achieved as a British team.

Tony Brise

Anthony William Brise (28 March 1952 – 29 November 1975) was an English racing driver, who took part in ten Formula One Grand Prix events in 1975, before dying in a plane crash with Graham Hill.

Walter Wolf Racing

Walter Wolf Racing was a Formula One constructor active from 1977 to 1979, which won the very first race the team entered. It was owned and run by Canadian Walter Wolf. The team was based in Reading, UK but raced with the Canadian licence.

United Kingdom Embassy Hill
United Kingdom Lola Formula One cars
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